UPDATED: Alcohol a factor in crash that killed Rantoul man

UPDATED: Alcohol a factor in crash that killed Rantoul man

THOMASBORO —  Alcohol played an apparent role in the death of a Rantoul man in a traffic crash in northern Champaign County early Saturday.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup identified the victim as Eric L. Lowery, 34, of Rantoul.

Illinois State Police at Pesotum said Mr. Lowery was a passenger in a car that left Interstate 57 just before 2 a.m. and rolled over.

Northrup said Mr. Lowery was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:05 a.m.

Preliminary information is that driver of the car was headed north on I-57 near Thomasboro when he lost control, left the road to the right, and hit a guardrail. The car came back on the road and flipped, hitting a pickup truck as it overturned.

Traffic for northbound 57 was detoured about four hours as crash reconstruction specialists investigated.

Police said alcohol was a factor.

They have not released the name of the car driver, the other passengers or the driver of the pickup.

Air Life was called to helicopter the injured to an area hospital.


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Local Yocal wrote on June 21, 2014 at 10:06 am
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No guarantees to preventing anything in life, but here might be one way to reduce DUI's by 50%: 

Assuming that the primary circumstance of DUI is impaired drivers returning home after a night at the bars, here could be a use of our tax dollars at PREVENTING drunk drivers from ever driving.  1) All Class A liquor license holders would be provided a breathalyzer and the training to use it, as part of their licensing agreement with the government to sell alcohol. 2) A county-wide ordinance would require all customers who drove a vehicle to a bar must hand over their car keys to a bartender BEFORE the patron can be served alcohol. Like cigarette smokers must smoke outside, drivers must forfeit the keys before getting a drink.  3) When a patron wishes to leave the bar, they will be required to first blow into the bar's breathalyzer to determine if they qualify to get their keys back. Blowing anything over .08 would prevent the patron from getting their car keys, and instead, a 48-hour free parking sticker would be applied to their car and an MTD shuttle would be summoned to drive the person directly home.  The citizenry would probably resist this proposal, preferring the current system of "taking their chances" on their ability to drive over the state standard for alcohol impairment, and would prefer to keep "their freedom" of having control over their car. Bar owners might find the added responsibility of securing someone's car keys too labor intensive. Likewise, law enforcement would denounce this idea for the tax dollars are not directed toward their services but would rather go to the MTD shuttle, personnel who train bar staff and maintain the breathalyzers, and the breathalzyer company providing the equipment. 

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on June 21, 2014 at 3:06 pm
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Why not a simple ignition lock?


I was a bartender in a nightclub that regularly moved a thousand patrons through its doors on a given night. There were eleven bartenders on duty.


I'm thinking "where would we keep a thousand sets of car keys?" I'm thinking "am I responsible for lost and missing keychains?" I'm thinking "how many extra hours would we spend, per night, exchanging and returning keys, and changing the mouthpieces on the breathalyzer?"


And what about all the people talking and texting while driving?

rsp wrote on June 22, 2014 at 11:06 am

What about a game in the bar, you put in a dollar and it gives you a mouthpiece. You use it to blow into the machine and it gives you a reading. So before you leave you know how drunk you are. The people with you know. I've seen people stop others when confronted with the reality even when they were also drunk.

Urbanagirl2 wrote on June 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm

You're impling that all DUI's are from people leaving a bar. 

What ever happened to person responsibility? 

C-U is full of public transportation. It may seem pricey to take a cab from C-U to Rantoul, but its still cheaper than the consequences. 

vcyoung wrote on June 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Sounds like a good plan!

rsp wrote on June 22, 2014 at 11:06 am

It's not a good plan. Cops prefer to stop someone before they hurt someone but they prefer they stay off the road after drinking.